Skip to main content
You are the owner of this article.
You have permission to edit this article.
Mom found in contempt for not following custody ruling due to COVID-19 concerns

Mom found in contempt for not following custody ruling due to COVID-19 concerns

  • 0

SIOUX CITY -- A mother was found in contempt and sentenced to 10 days in jail after she refused to turn over her two minor children to their father for the summer under terms of a child visitation ruling.

The mother, Lien Beavers, said in court filings she had not turned over the children to her ex-husband, Jerry Beavers, in May because she was concerned about their safety amid the coronavirus pandemic and whether Jerry Beavers would follow recommended health guidelines.

Judge Patrick Tott


At the conclusion of a hearing Wednesday in Woodbury County District Court, District Judge Patrick Tott found Lien Beavers had failed to comply with the summer visitation requirements in which Jerry Beavers was to have custody of the children beginning three days after the end of the school year until seven days before school resumes in the fall.

When Jerry Beavers traveled to Louisiana in May to pick up the children after their school year ended, Lien Beavers did not show up with them.

After the ruling, the children were returned to their father for his visitation period.

Tott ruled that the six weeks of summer visitation that Jerry Beavers missed will be made up one week per year during either Easter or Thanksgiving visitation times or at another agreed-upon time by their parents. Lien Beavers may purge the jail sentence if she fully complies with the make-up schedule.

Lien Beavers also was ordered to pay Jerry Beavers, who lives in Sioux City, $3,000 for his attorney fees and $658 to reimburse him for travel expenses to Louisiana to pick up the children in May.

Tott's ruling is believed to be the first in Iowa to address COVID-19 and its effects on parental rights, according to the Families United Action Network, a Des Moines-based nonprofit family law reform advocate. Similar cases are pending in other Iowa counties.

In-person court hearings to resume in Iowa after 4-month COVID-19 shutdown
Latest Woodbury County court report
COVID-19 positivity rate up in Woodbury County, still well below April highs

PHOTOS: Woodbury County Courthouse past and present

Concerned about COVID-19?

* I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its user agreement and privacy policy.

Related to this story

Get up-to-the-minute news sent straight to your device.


News Alerts

Breaking News